Filed under: Comfort at Camp, Humor, Preparation & Readiness, Technology & Camping
WHATS A TOAD? – A RV Newbie’s Vocablulary List
I couldn’t help but laugh at Dalin Brinkman’s July 5th blog sharing his dismay over the vocabulary folks new to RVs encounter.
Later in the day, I began to think more seriously about Dalin’s dilemma. The part of me that is still a teacher kicked into high gear. I remember all too well how overwhelmed my beginning students were when they were exposed to an entirely new vocabulary during my first few lectures.
I decided to try and do something that just might give those still wet behind the ears with RV lingo a leg up on understanding – so I did what I would do with my students and whipped up a vocabulary list with simplified definitions intended to help them get started.
Please, for those readers that are veteran RVers and accomplished linguist in the field, keep in mind that this is my seat-of-the-pants first time attempt to provide such a listing on this blog site. If you have an obscure term or RV related abbreviation you want to add, please feel free to use the comments section. I have intentionally left out terms related to weights, like GVWR.
OK – enough said. Here is the first attempt at my vocabulary list for RV Newbies.
15/20-Amp Hookup – Power source providing a feed comparable to a residential 120-volt outlet.
30-Amp Hookup – Power source providing a single 30 amp, 120-volt feed for a mid-size RV.
50-Amp Hookup – Power source providing two 50 amp, 120-volt feeds for a large RV.
Absorption – Non-Freon refrigeration unit installed in most RVs that operates off of a heat source rather than an electric compressor.
Anode – Also Anode Rod. Sacrificial magnesium element attached to the drain plug of a water heater to prevent the water heater tank from developing pinholes from electrolysis. The anode is a user replaceable item.
Backwash – Forcing rinse water into the black water holding tank to wash out any remaining solids.
Ball – The ball on a travel trailer hitch the coupler on the trailer latches over.
Basement – The storage area under the floor(s) of an RV.
Batwing – A type of dipole television antenna made by Winegard, it looks like a “bat’s wing”.
Belly Tape – An extremely sticky back, waterproof, woven repair tape for torn or cut tarp-like material used to cover the underside of many towable RVs.
Black Tank – Holding tank for the toilet’s waste.
Black Water – Effluent from the toilet waste holding tank.
Blue Stuff – An additive for black water holding tanks to reduce or eliminate odors.
Boondocking – Camping in a remote area without any hook-ups or designated campsite.
Brake Controller – Electronic device that mounts in the tow vehicle and controls braking on the trailer.
Brown Water – Water from the kitchen sink that may contain food particles, often collected as part of gray water.
Camper – Any RV (according to truckers).
Class A – A type of MotorHome built entirely on a truck or bus chassis.
Class B – Van converted into to MotorHome that retains the van body.
Class C – A MotorHome built on a modified van or truck chassis with an original type cab.
Coach Batteries – Batteries used for starting the engine in MotorHomes.
Converter – Electronic device that changes 120-volt AC power to direct current compatible with storage batteries.
Deep Cycle Batteries – Batteries designed to be recharged multiple times from a discharged state without damage. The best choice for batteries used as house batteries in an RV.
DH – Darling Husband or any other term of endearment starting with the letter D.
Dribble Valve – Valve on a shower head in a RV that allows a small amount of water to flow when closed. Great for saving water when bathing.
Dry Camping – Camping without water, sewer or electrical hook-ups, but not necessarily in a remote area.
DSI – Direct Spark Ignition associated with LPG appliances. RV gas water heaters often have DSI rather than a small pilot flame.
Dump Station – A place where you can safely and legally drain your waste holding tanks.
DW – Darling Wife (sometimes Dish Washer or Ditch Watcher).
EPDM – A type of rubber membrane used as a roof covering material.
ESW – Electric, Sewer and Water.
Fiver – A short name given to a fifth-wheel camper.
Full Hookup – Camping site with electrical, sewer and water hook-ups.
FW – Fifth Wheel – usually refers to the vehicle, not the hitch. A trailer that connects to the tow vehicle by an articulating hitch mounted over the rear axle.
Galley – RV kitchen.
Gray Water – Water collected from the shower, tub and bathroom lavatory.
Hose Bumper – Storage for the holding tank dump hose. Usually a 4” square hollow bumper on the rear of an RV.
House Batteries – Batteries used exclusively to power DC appliances and lights in a RV.
Inverter – Electronic device that changes direct current from batteries to 120-volt alternating current for household appliances.
King Pin – Pin on a fifth wheel trailer that locks into the hitch.
Landing Jacks – Front jacks on a fifth wheel trailer.
LPG – Liquefied Petroleum Gas, often referred to as Propane.
Motor Home – Also MotorHome. A self contained, drivable RV.
Pigtail Adapter – Electrical cable and plug assembly that allows connecting one type of power plug to another of a different design. For example: connecting a 30-amp travel trailer plug to a 15/20 amp residential style outlet.
Pop Up – Folding top camper or tent camper.
Potable Water – Drinking Water.
Potable Water Hose – Water hose certified as drinking water safe. Most RV water hoses are white in color.
PUP – See Pop Up.
Rig – Your entire RV, including tow vehicle and/or toads.
RV – Any type of Recreational Vehicle – both towable and driveable.
Sewer Hose – 3” diameter flexible/expandable hose to connect a RVs sewage storage tanks to a sewer dump inlet.
Scare Lights – Exterior mounted lights on the side of an RV, typically very bright and giving broad area illumination.
Self Contained – RV having kitchen, sleeping, potable water and sewage retaining equipment as a minimum. Bathing, heating/cooling and electrical are often essential components of fully self contained vehicles.
Shore Power – Electrical power derived from a campground power pedestal.
Shore Power Cord – Power cord that attaches between the RV and the hook-up power source.
ST – Special Trailer. Specific to the type and rating of trailer tires.
Sway – Also called wag. Left to right movement of a trailer when under tow. A condition that can occur when a trailer is improperly loaded or is pushed sideways by air pressure. Often a result of not enough weight at the tongue. Severe sway can cause loss of control of the tow vehicle.
Sway Control – Friction or cam style devices attached between the tongue or A-frame of a travel trailer to the tow vehicle’s hitch designed to reduce the effects of passing trucks or cross winds.
Toad – A vehicle “towed” behind a MotorHome.
Tongue – Front frame of a trailer that extends to the tow vehicle’s ball hitch. Also called the “A” frame.
Tow Dolly – Used to pull a towed vehicle behind a motorhome when two of the Toad’s wheels must be “off the ground”.
Toy Hauler – Trailers designed with a greater total weight carrying capacity and interior space to haul a “toy” such as a golf cart, motorcycle, or ATV.
Truck Camper – Self contained RV that fits into the bed of a pick-up truck.
TT – Travel Trailer, normally connects to the tow vehicle by a rear mounted ball hitch.
TV – Tow Vehicle.
WDH – Weight Distributing Hitch. Used with heavy travel trailers (i.e. over 3,000 pounds). Takes advantage of adjustable torsion or spring bars and a fulcrum at the hitch to redistribute the weight of the trailer tongue.
Wet Bolts – Bolts and bushings used in a trailer suspension that have grease fittings for lubrication.
WH – Water Heater.
HAPPY CAMPING TRAILS TO ALL!